Lacing Techniques for Running Shoes


Now everyone learnt how to tie their shoe laces at the age of 5 or 6 right? Easy! But as we know all our feet come in different shapes and sizes and for some of us that correct shoe fit can be hard! Also when running our feet can swell, mainly width ways, so shoes can become uncomfortable overtime! Below I’ve put together some key changes to laces on shoes you can do in order to get the best fit for your foot shape. As well as hint at what brands offer the best shape for the corresponding foot shapes…

Wide Foot (Forefoot)

With a wide foot, naturally you should be aiming for brands such as New Balance, Mizuno and Brooks (forefoot width, not midfoot). Generally these brands make shoes on a wider last. This is not to say that there isn’t the odd shoe from Nike (like the Odessey or Vomero) or Adidas (like the Ultra Boost ST) that offer extra width also. New Balance and Brooks and Asics actually also offer wider fitting shoes up to 4E in certain models.

However if forefoot width is still not great, simply relace your shoes, as above, by missing out the first holes. By doing so you allow extra forefoot space width!
High Instep

This can be a probably for people with very high arches. Having a high instep can lead to pressure spots on the top of the foot, causing numbing sensation through the foot and discomfort. There is unfortunately no specific shoe which improves this and so this lacing change is key.


To summarise the diagram above simply lace like normal the first two rows then instead of another cross over, lace them vertically above. This creates a small window to allow the foot to not be compressed. Then the next row after this, can then be laced as normal. Obviously you can adjust how high or low the window is on the show dependant on your foot!

Hell lock lacing

Many people suffer from finding shoes narrow enough to hold their feet, especially at the heel. Brands again like New Balance and Brooks offer narrow width fittings such as 2A which is well below standard width. Adidas in general has a narrower than average shoe range.
Otherwise, for those with narrow ankles should look specifically at shoes from Nike, Asics and Brooks come high around the ankle. This can most often not be enough still. So see the diagram below for heel lock lacing of what I call, butterfly lacing 😊

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To summarise, once you create the loops on each side, the right lace goes through the left hoop and the left lace through the right. The best way to then tighten is to pull the laces like a see-saw on either side! This should given you the ultimate lockdown on your ankle in the shoe.

These are the key three lacing systems I go to when in need of alteration for foot shape and I hope they help you! Any questions just ask 😊


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